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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 22 - 28  > Opening of Tokyo Olympics next year will depend on coronavirus situation
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2020 July 22 - 28 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Opening of Tokyo Olympics next year will depend on coronavirus situation

July 23, 2020

July 23 marks one year out from the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which was postponed due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. While the event schedules and venues will be maintained, uncertainty still remains as there is a mountain of problems, including the simplification of the Games and the prevention of the COVID-19 spread in Game venues.

The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee in June compiled basic principles for simplifying the 2020 Olympics from the viewpoint of cost-cutting and coronavirus countermeasures. The two parties are now discussing more than 200 items with international sports organizations and national Olympic committees. A fleshed-out plan regarding the streamlining will be set forth in an IOC Coordination Commission meeting in late September.

However, in order to hold the Summer Games, the implementation of coronavirus countermeasures is essential. Teams from 206 countries and regions will come to Tokyo. The national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government, and the organizing committee, under the lead of the national government, in September will start working on necessary measures, such as immigration control, the establishment of a framework for diagnostic tests and medical care, and infection prevention at lodging facilities and transportation. An organizing committee official in charge of event operations said, “Many frontline staff doubt if the Tokyo Summer Games will be able to take place. I want to be informed of at least three plans for PCR testing and other essential issues as soon as possible.”

The Tokyo Summer Games were decided to be rescheduled in March. At that time, the situation changed in favor of the postponement after U.S. federations of swimming and athletic sports, national Olympic committees of major countries, and athletes expressed their opposition to the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as initially planned. A person concerned said, “The IOC does not want to propose to cancel the next year’s Games. The cancellation could be made due to pressure from outside.” The judgement on whether the 2020 Summer Games can be conducted or not depends on how the situation of the coronavirus infection will be.

Past related articles:
> Anti-poverty group: Utilize Olympic village as lodging for people who lost places to live due to COVID-19 crisis [June 13, 2020]
> Postponement of Tokyo Olympics highlights need to get back to basics of Olympic movement [March 26, 2020]
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